On heels of 2-foot snowstorm, 3rd annual Alpenglow Mountain Festival kicks off Saturday | SierraSun.com

On heels of 2-foot snowstorm, 3rd annual Alpenglow Mountain Festival kicks off Saturday

Kaleb M. Roedel | kroedel@sierrasun.com
The third annual Alpenglow Mountain Festival will showcases a wide range of activities for beginner and intermediate winter sports enthusiasts in North Lake Tahoe.
Courtesy Minaret Photography |

If you go

What: Third annual Alpenglow Mountain Festival

When: Saturday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 28

Where: North Lake Tahoe

Cost: Most events are free; $10 to attend films

Online: alpenglowsports.com/festival

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — In 2014, the inaugural winter edition of the Alpenglow Mountain Festival saw roughly 500 people come together over nine days for a celebration of human-powered mountain sports at North Lake Tahoe.

It wasn’t an overwhelming turnout, but a success nonetheless for a first-year event.

Three years later, the festival’s popularity has climbed — and then some.

“We opened registration the first of February and were just immediately swamped,” said Brendan Madigan, owner of Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City and founder of the Alpenglow Mountain Festival. “I expect upwards of 1,500 to 1,800 people. I’m overwhelmed. There are almost 50 individual events and they’re almost full.

“I guess that means it’s resonated with people.”

The ever-growing Alpenglow Mountain Festival kicks off its third year this Saturday — not too shabby timing, either, considering the Tahoe-Truckee region was blasted with a 2-foot snowstorm Wednesday and Thursday to kick things off.

Geared toward beginner and intermediate winter sport enthusiasts, the nine-day celebration presented by bigtruck brand will showcase some of the best outdoor activities Lake Tahoe has to offer.


Backcountry skiing. Nordic skiing. Splitboarding. Whichever winter recreations peak your interest, the Alpenglow Mountain Festival gives you the opportunity to jump into mountain sports of your choosing with both feet.

Moreover, the majority of events are free.

“The Mountain Festival was born out of our desire to share our beloved human-powered winter sports with others in our community,” Madigan said. “We understand these sports can be intimidating and potentially cost-prohibitive for just anyone to launch into, but everyone here is enthusiastic about helping aspiring adventurers bridge the gap between fear and passion.”

Additionally, the festival will include snowshoeing tours, winter sport-specific yoga, equipment demonstrations, avalanche safety education and events, a classic skiing clinic with Olympian Glen Jobe, critically-acclaimed films, and more.

“We wanted to take all our events that were spaced out at the time and put them together under one umbrella,” Madigan said. “And at the same time showcase the playground of North Tahoe and share the sports that brought us here with other people.”

‘On the Road’ film series highlights first weekend

One of the marquee events of the nine-day festival, Madigan said, is the showing of the 5Point Film Festival’s “On the Road” series this Saturday at Squaw Valley’s Olympic Village Lodge.

“On the Road” is a collection of inspiring adventure films curated specifically for the Lake Tahoe mountain community. The event marks 5Point’s first-ever tour stop in Lake Tahoe.

“We’re extremely excited and honored to kick off the Alpenglow Mountain Festival with the 5Point film night,” Madigan said. “It’s a special evening of compelling inspirational mountain film shorts, and I’m so excited to share it with our community.”

A highlight of the event is the film “Eclipse,” Reuben Krabbe’s award-winning documentation of a ski expedition to the edge of the earth to see one of the planet’s rarest events: a total solar eclipse in the Arctic.

“Our stories,” said Sarah Wood, executive director of the 5Point Film Festival, “are meant to inspire you to get out there, follow your passion, and discover what adventure means to you.”

Other film events during the Alpenglow Mountain Festival include the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival on Tuesday, Feb. 23; the fourth installment of Alpenglow’s Winter Film Series with alpine climber and author Kelly Cordes on Thursday, Feb. 25; and a screening of Jeremy Collins “Drawn, the Art of Ascent” on Saturday, Feb. 27.

Tickets are $10. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Visit alpenglowsports.com/festival for more information on the films and the full list of events during the Alpenglow Mountain Festival.

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